Young Gulfport track star has a goal of competing in the Olympics or the NFL

By A.J. Giardina – bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - "Yeah it was pretty good even though I came in third," explained Cortland Gayton.  He competed in the 50 meters in Hershey and was timed in 6.89 seconds. He said he waited too long to push full speed ahead and when he did...Cortland said he stumbled.

"I ended up catching up but when I tripped up, one person had past me."

Cortland's dad, Carlos says it didn't take long for his son to get back on the track after finishing third at the National Meet.

Gayton said, "He was a little disappointed but I told him, ya'll are all winners because ya'll are here at the Nationals, but he was a little disappointed but we got back Sunday and Monday he was ready to practice and next year he's going to win it all."

Carlos says he takes advantage of what the Mississippi Gulf Coast has to offer to get Cortland in tip-top shape.  Carlos says he runs Cortland on the beach.  He even puts little weights on his legs.  However he said, "He has God-given speed.  So it comes pretty natural to him."

Carolos says Cortland also excels in football. He's a quarterback and has been playing for five years and said, "We work out about four days a week. He does 30 minutes of track and 30 minutes of football." He added, "One thing I want you to know I don't force him to do anything. He comes to me for guidance and I'm there for him."

Cortland Gayton loves competing whether it's on the track or on the turf saying, "I really like football better because I've been playing football for a really long time and my goals are to still make honor roll and be in the Olympics or to be in the NFL."

©2009 WLOX. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.